holiday giftsThe holidays are all about relationships. Relationships with our family, our friends, and yes, our clients.

And these days, one compelling way to build these relationships is through social media. Of course, no good marketer lets a customer touchpoint go to waste—and there’s no reason your genuine holiday outreach can’t be a part of your social media marketing strategy.

Try these social media marketing ideas as a way to connect with, and market to, your social audience this holiday season.

1. Deck the halls with client discounts

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la…la.

Okay. First and foremost, don’t be afraid to post about your upcoming specials or deals scheduled to roll out throughout the holiday season.

You can even offer exclusive deals for brand followers and VIP members, which might just help other social citizens realize what they’re missing out on.

2. Sharing is caring

It’s the season of sharing, and this has never been truer than in the age of social media.

Consider offering special benefits, or contest promotions to followers who like and share your content. Such strategies encourage social conversations, increase the visibility of all of your online marketing efforts, and promote activity on your social pages.

Starbucks has had great success with this over the past few years with little nothing more than its (now iconic) plain red cup.

3. Dinner table discussion

We all go through it every year—take two dozen relatives, stick them around a table with food and one too many bottles of wine, and watch the sparks fly.

The experience exists on your social media page too—discussion is a great way to engage.

Consider Barnes and Noble and its Twitter-based holiday campaign in 2014. Barnes and Noble understood that people struggle with shopping ideas each year, and began a hashtag campaign (#BNGiftTip) that encouraged readers to provide fellow community members with “gift tip” shopping ideas for different groups.

The result? Plenty of lively conversation and brand visibility. No alcohol required.

4. Treat your friends—and yourself

According to a recent study conducted by Facebook on holiday spending habits, 52 percent of people use the holidays to get gifts for themselves as well as their loved ones.

Who can blame them? Encourage this idea on your social marketing channels. Let them know that it’s okay to give in to their urge to splurge. Sweeten the deal with buy one, get one deals, price discounts, or free shipping when multiple items are purchased.

5. RSVP to the party early

The above study by Facebook had more insights to share: Know how many people did their 2015 holiday shopping in December? About 54 percent. Meanwhile, 45 percent said they planned to finish shopping before Black Friday.

What does this mean for your social media marketing?

As a business trying to compete during the most competitive time of the year, you can give your ROI a boost by getting as many people in the door before the season starts.

Offer “early bird” discounts that preempt the start of the holiday season. Spread the word on social that your brand is opening for business early, and get their attention before the craziness hits in full swing.

The Social Media Season

Social media marketing during the holidays doesn’t have to be complicated. Post in ways that reinforce the values on peoples’ minds this time of year: honesty, open dialogue, sharing, and gift giving.

Sure, work a few brand messages in there at the same time, but for best results, keep your message honest and tuned in to the holiday spirit.